Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
Kabbalah Online
Kids Zone

The Maccabees

The Maccabees


Before his death, Mattityahu called his sons together and urged them to continue to fight in defense of G d’s Torah. He asked them to follow the counsel of their brother Shimon the Wise. In waging warfare, he said, their leader should be Judah the Strong. Judah was called "Maccabee," a word composed of the initial letters of the four Hebrew words Mi Kamocha Ba’eilim Hashem, "Who is like You, O G-d."

Antiochus sent his General Apolonius to wipe out Yehuda and his followers, the Maccabees. Though greater in number and equipment than their adversaries, the Syrians were defeated by the Maccabees. Antiochus sent out another expedition which also was defeated. He realized that only by sending a powerful army could he hope to defeat Judah and his brave fighting men.

An army consisting of more than 40,000 men swept the land under the leadership of two commanders, Nicanor and Gorgiash. When Judah and his brothers heard of that, they exclaimed: "Let us fight unto death in defense of our souls and our Temple!" The people assembled in Mitzpah, where Samuel, the prophet of old, had offered prayers to G-d. After a series of battles the war was won.

Excerpted from The Complete Story of Chanukah by Dr Nissan Mindel, published by Kehot
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (6)
December 1, 2013
To Anonymous
Yes, the oil was enough to last one day, instead it miraculously lasted eight! Staff
November 29, 2013
How many days was the oil supposed to last
How many days was the oil supposed to last?
December 20, 2009
To Vivian:
The Talmud (Yoma 29a) brings the following teaching of Rabbi Assi: “Why is Esther compared to the morning star? To tell you that just like the morning star signals the end of the night, so was Esther the last of the miracles.” The Talmud counters, “Is there not Chanukah [when miracles transpired]?” and answers, “we say [the last of the miracles] that were allowed to be written.”

From this we see that Esther was the last of the books that was allowed to be transcribed and made holy. As such, when the story of Chanukah happened, they used other means of ensuring that the story of the miracle was remembered, such as the candle lighting and added prayers. Incidentally, there is an ancient book known as Megilat Antiochus, which tells the story of Chanukah, but it is not sacred and its reading is not necessarily part of the holiday observance.
Menachem Posner for
December 17, 2009
why isnt there a megilla for chanukah?
ny, usa
December 11, 2009
Reading this story only fills my heart with hope, knowing that Israel will be alright.
Happy Hanukkah!
December 9, 2008
good!! nice story =)
i m reading it and it story that tells quite a-lot
Hanukkah Kids Zone
Hanukkah Recipes
Hanukkah Cards
Hanukkah Shopping
Hanukkah Tidbits
Menorah Gallery
Chanukah News
This page in other languages